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DATE News (chronologically)
02/28/11
track news
Kentucky Speedway upgrading facility for Sprint Cup visit in July
The slogan booms “History Starts Now!”

The idea to bring Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson — and about 105,000 of their friends — to Kentucky Speedway, however, has been years in the making.

Excitement continues to build for the speedway’s long-awaited NASCAR Sprint Cup race on July 9.

And so does the construction. Additions to the grandstands, moving pit road closer to the frontstretch, improved parking and additional campgrounds are a few of the changes spectators will notice for the track’s inaugural Sprint Cup event.

“The facility is a good facility. What Jerry built did the job and could probably do the job for Cup,” Kentucky Speedway director of communications Tim Bray said referring to the track’s founder, Jerry Carroll. “But (owner) Bruton (Smith) has this thing, he wants to make sure it’s the very best for the fans and for the competitors, too.”

Season tickets and single-event tickets still remain for the July 7-9 weekend that features the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup. The Truck Series returns along with the IndyCar Series on Oct. 1-2.

At last count, NASCAR fans from 39 states and Canada have purchased season tickets.

Among the upgrades they will find:

• Construction of two new seating towers: The Kentucky Tower in Turn 1 and the Ohio Tower in Turn 4, which flank the current Indiana Tower, which adds 38,000 additional seats (and concessions and restrooms to go with it).

• Improved parking with more hills leveled out and better traffic flow.

• Additional campsites — taking the total from 1,200 to about 4,000 — with names provided from Smith like Millionaire’s Row, Bourbon Street, Hawk’s Landing, The Ponderosa and Lakeside.

• Reconstruction of the fan center and gift shop, located outside of Turn 3, and a new location for the NASCAR hauler Souvenir Row down the main entrance.

The track, meanwhile, remains the same except for pit road being moved 200 feet closer to the grandstands.

“What we’ve gotten back is drivers really enjoy driving it and it’s a racey track,” said Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger. “The (drivers) really don’t want us to make changes to it.” Dayton Daily News

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